THE drive to get the people of Clackmannanshire to share their own experiences of mental health issues has received the backing of parliamentarians at Holyrood.

A motion lodged by Mid Scotland and Fife MSP Alexander Stewart welcomed the launch of the regular mental health column in the Advertiser, which gives locals the opportunity to highlight the challenges they face every day.

And politicians are also praising the bravery of those who have poured their hearts and souls out onto paper so far.

For readers it is a chance to open up, even if just anonymously, about how they feel and it is also an opportunity to share their experiences, good and bad, with mental health services in the area.

The column was kicked off by Alloa man Declan Brown, who wrote on the one year anniversary of the death of his much-loved twin brother Conor.

His piece epitomises what is at the heart of the campaign: the hope to shatter the view that males need to “man up” and hide their feelings.

While services may be stretched, help is out there and it is hoped that talking about it will help those who are struggling to feel a little less alone and perhaps seek support.

Mr Stewart's motion invites the parliament at Holyrood to welcome the feature and “considers that this gives people from Clackmannanshire and surrounding areas an opportunity to write about their own mental health challenges and to share these with a wider audience”

It is also acknowledging the “courage of those who are able to write about [it] and share their experiences in a public way such as this”.

The motion was backed by Mr Stewart's fellow Conservative politicians, along with a handful of SNP members including James Dornan.

Anyone wishing to share their feelings and experiences is encouraged to contact